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Unemployment backtracks to 6.7%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. economy generated 175,000 jobs in February, which was well above the 149,000 rate economists expected but still below last year’s average of 190,000. Also, the national unemployment rate ticked back up a notch to 6.7%, having reached a five-year low of 6.6% in January.

The long-term unemployment population — or those jobless for 27 weeks or more — increased in February to 3.8 million, now accounting for 37.0% of the total unemployed. This number is roughly 901,000 below year-ago levels.

Meanwhile, those employed part-time for economic reasons (or involuntary part-time workers) was little-changed at 7.2 million.

Industries that saw the biggest job gains included food services and drinking places (21,200), education and health services (33,000), administrative and waste services (41,700), and professional and business services (79,000). 

Electronics and appliance stores (-12,000), support activities for transportation (-11,900), information (-16,000) and specifically motion picture and sound recording industries (-14,100) took the biggest hits.

Meanwhile, the construction industry overall added 15,000 jobs, with residential building up 3,400 and non-residential building down 3,300. Specialty trade contractors added 2,000 jobs, though that was largely a net balance given the loss of 1,700 jobs on the residential side and gain of 3,700 jobs on the non-residential side. 

Building material and garden supply stores ticked up as well, gaining 3,000 jobs in February ahead of the busy spring season.

Manufacturing as a whole added 6,000 jobs.

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HCN Stock Watch: Mixed-bag Thursday

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stocks were scattered at Thursday’s close, with no major winners and losers given the relatively marginal changes.

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Operation Finally Home names executive director

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit organization that provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes for wounded, ill and injured veterans and surviving spouses across the country, recently named Rusty Carroll as executive director. In addition, the organization expanded its advisory board with the appointments of three new members.

Carroll joins Operation Finally Home with more than 20 years of experience in the building industry. Most recently, he served as director of corporate marketing for LP Building Products, where he has worked for the last 20 years. His responsibilities as executive director of Operation Finally Home include providing leadership and strategic and operational direction for staff and programs, as well as expansion and execution of the organization’s overall mission. 

“The wealth of knowledge Rusty gained while at LP has positioned him as an invaluable asset to the Operation Family Home team,” said Dan Wallrath, Operation Finally Home founder and president. 

At the same time, Operation Finally Home announced it added Ted Nugent, the rock musician and former talk-radio show host, to its advisory board.

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